Talmud Tips

For the week ending 30 August 2014 / 4 Elul 5774

Mo’ed Katan 20 - 26

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

“Whoever cries and mourns for the passing of a ‘kosher’ person from this world is forgiven from all his transgressions.”

This principle of the importance of crying and mourning to show honor for any person who lived according to the Torah is taught on our daf. Even if the person is not related. (The details of the applicability of the general laws of mourning, such as kriya and saying a beracha of “Dayan Ha’emet” are taught in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah 340:6.)

  • Mo’ed Katan 25a

“When Ravina passed from this world, the eulogizer began in this way: ‘The palm trees should wave their heads for the tzaddik who is like a palm tree…’ ”

The first “palm trees” mentioned are a reference to the Jewish People, as we are taught: Just as a palm tree has only one heart (the etrog), likewise Klal Yisrael has only one heart for the Almighty. The people are being told to “shake their heads” in their own transgressions, and know that Ravina is a “tzaddik like a palm tree”. His soul will remain alive forever, and will merit the World-to-Come where it will fully blossom forever. (Maharsha)

  • Mo’ed Katan 25b

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